Scheduling, stress, small kids—life tends to get in the way of lust. Luckily, there are a few simple ways to rev up your mojo, and rediscover the spark that drew you to your partner in the first place.
Really listen. Couples with great sex lives have this in common: They are attentive toward each other, in and out of the bedroom. A 2016 study found a direct link between partners’ level of “responsiveness” and their sexual desire. Strike up conversations and listen, “without interrupting or prejudging or showing o,” suggests researcher Gurit E. Birnbaum, PhD. Then do your best to support your partner’s needs and wishes. Truly responding to each other can have deep and long-lasting benefits.
Let your imagination run wild. “A lot of people fantasize during sex and may be conflicted about it,” says Ian Kerner, PhD, a New York City–based sex therapist. But fantasies play an important role: “They’re a powerful way to increase arousal, and distract from anxiety.” In other words, the steamy scenario unfolding in your mind (whatever it is) can help get you right where you want to be—blissed out in the moment with the person you love.
Stop obsessing over your cellulite. Or your belly rolls, or any other part of your body. “So often we’re not in the moment— we’re above it or outside of it, looking in and thinking, ‘Oh God, I look so unattractive,’ ” says Anita Clayton, MD, University of Virginia psychiatry professor and author of Satisfaction. “It changes that emotional intimacy that’s part of experiencing pleasure.” To stay present, try narrating the action in your head: “He is caressing my thighs, and it feels so nice.”
Embrace masturbation. Solo sex expands your “orgasmic potential,” says relationship expert Emily Morse, host of the Sex with Emily podcast. It allows you to better understand what heightens your pleasure—details you can then convey to your partner. And be sure to stick with the habit, Morse adds: “It could take months to figure out how to have a G-spot orgasm, a clitoral orgasm, or even a blended orgasm.”